Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
The Accompt
By Anacreon (582–485 B.C.)
 
(From the Odes; translated by Thomas Stanley, 1651)

IF thou dost the number know
Of the leaves on every bough,
If thou can’st the reckoning keep
Of the sands within the deep;
Thee of all men will I take,        5
And my Love’s accomptant make.
Of Athenians first a score
Set me down; then fifteen more;
Add a regiment to these
Of Corinthian mistresses,        10
For the most renown’d for fair
In Achæa sojourn there;
Next our Lesbian Beauties tell;
Those that in Ionia dwell;
Those of Rhodes and Caria count;        15
To two thousand they amount,
Wonder’st thou I love so many?
’Las of Syria we not any,
Egypt yet, nor Crete have told,
Where his orgies Love doth hold.        20
What to those then wilt thou say
Which in eastern Bactria,
Or the western Gades remain?
But give o’er, thou toil’st in vain;
For the sum which thou dost seek        25
Puzzles all arithmetic.
 
 
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